It's looking more and more like Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin is a serious candidate to be named the next Vanderbilt head coach. We learned yesterday that he is a finalist for the job, and now, there's a chance he could have vaulted even further up the list of candidates.
Eric Prisbell of the Washington Post is reporting that Franklin is potentially second in line to receive the job, behind Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, who is a "longshot" to take the position.
If Vanderbilt's long-shot hope of landing Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn falls through, James Franklin could be next in line to receive a head coaching job offer as early as today, multiple sources familiar with the search said very late Thursday night.
Vanderbilt reportedly gave Malzahn a $3 million offer, but if that falls through, Franklin appears to be the best alternative, along with Stanford offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Prisbell reports that Franklin has already had two interviews with Vanderbilt this week, and vice chancellor for athletics David Williams said he likes Franklin. Vanderbilt has said there will be no announcement on their head coaching job today, according to Jeff Barker of the Baltimore Sun, but that does not necessarily mean this is close to being over.
Franklin has been with the Terps since 2008. If he does not become Maryland's head coach by 2012, he is entitled to a $1 million roster bonus. If he were to jump to Vanderbilt, obviously he would not receive that bonus.